To mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Hector Berlioz, ATMA Classique and Festival Classica present the first complete recording of the composer’s arrangements of romances for voice and guitar. Selected from The Recueil de romances avec accompagnement de guitare, most of these pieces are arrangements of popular tunes from the comic operas that were all the rage in Paris in Berlioz’s time. Soprano Magali Simard-Galdes and tenor Antonio Figueroa are accompanied by David Jacques, who plays an 1829 Jean-Joseph Coffe guitar. The young Quebecoise soprano Magali Simard-Galdes has been acclaimed for her crystalline timbre, great musicality, and magnetic stage present. Recent debuts include the role of Sophie in Werther for Opera de Quebec,Read more and Louisette in Bonsoir viosin at Opera Lafayette. Montreal native Antonio Figueroa began his career with the Opera de Montreal in their artist-in-residence program. He has won several awards, including the International Vocal Arts Institute’s Silverman Prize for his performance as Belmonte. Guitarist and lutenist David Jacques has a Ph.D. in early music performance from the Universitie de Montreal. His discography consists of more than 50 recordings across several labels.
This is the first complete recording of the 25 pieces of the Collection of Romances with guitar accompaniment. The booklet, which details the origin of these youthful pieces, is an asset of the project, perfectly chosen and captured youthful voices, Magali Simard-Galdès and Antonio Figeroa. The guitar of 1829 chosen by the excellent David Jacques is ideally balanced. Still, the litany of romances (it is almost necessary to wait for track 16, and an air that resembles a rant, for something to happen) perhaps moved the adolescent Berlioz at 17 or 18 years old in 1820, but today has more documentary and historical interest than musical substance.